While Hyundai is aiming to post sales growth in Europe in 2014, the South Korean carmaker will not seek to retain its market share at all costs, according to Allan Rushforth, the brand’s chief operating officer for the region. Rushfort said that Hyundai’s sales growth in Europe will be limited as the carmaker’s strategy highlights gaining repeat business, shifting from its previous mode of being a conquest brand.
He said that they would achieve that by expanding vehicle financing that encourages customers to return. The carmaker intends to hike sales in line with an expected 3 percent recovery in growth in the European market in 2014, Rushforth said, noting that 2013 was a year of transition for the Hyundai brand, as investments in production and other operations are "starting to deliver positive results."
He said that Hyundai’s main aim is to continue enhancing the quality of their operations, “even if it means we are not able to sustain our market share." He expects the European vehicle market to remain a "competitive environment in the months to come."
Hyundai Europe President Byung Kwon Rim quipped that for Hyundai to become a top global brand, it has first to become a top European brand. He remarked that Hyundai is now a European carmaker, with an intention to become more committed to Europe. Hyundai expects a new version of the i10 minicar to help boost sales in 2014.
The i10 features a more spacious interior and tighter suspension than its predecessor. It started arriving at dealerships in November following its debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September. According to Rushfort, Hyundai may also introduce up to 1,000 of the new Genesis sedan in Europe next year.
In October, Hyundai disclosed plans to offer new Genesis large sedan in Europe in 2014, thereby taking on BMW, Mercedes and Audi on their home turf. Hyundai is planning to offer 22 new or updated models by 2017 to achieve a 5 percent market share in Europe by 2020.